Unions demand to know debt ceiling impact on feds

Friday - 7/15/2011, 5:25pm EDT

By Emily Kopp
Reporter
Federal News Radio

Unions representing federal workers are demanding details from the Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department about how the failure to raise the national debt ceiling by Aug. 2 may affect government workers.

The Federal-Postal Coalition, a group of 21 unions, sent a letter to OMB Director Jacob Lew and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asking them to clarify whether missing the early August deadline would shut down government operations, lead to furloughs or impact workers' pay or retirement funds.

"The prospect of congressional inaction by Aug. 2 over raising the debt ceiling is generating significant concern throughout the federal community," the letter said.

The coalition represents nearly five-million federal workers, postal employees and retirees.

One signatory, the National Treasury Employees Union, is planning a rally in New York on Tuesday to oppose proposed cuts to federal funding and services.

President Barack Obama has warned that the United States may not be able to pay all of its bills if Congress fails to raise the federal borrowing limit before next month's deadline.

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